The word is getting out that stuff is happening at Spring Lane! This time it was a couple of folks asking about the ‘open air service’ as we were put up the sight screens (presumably as an altar backdrop prior to our ritual sacrifice on a length). Last week it was folks looking for the Dept of Physisomething’s open day. Who knows what people will be looking for next week? Even more encouraging was that Dave started referring to ‘your team’ (AP being involved in Aunt support) when I arrived and spared me the list of the umpteen other folks who were unwilling/unable to take the skipper’s mantle.
Hottest day of the year and a first for me at least was that the opposing skipper, Carol, was St Radegund’s scorer! Fortunately she called wrong and with a huge sigh of relief, I said GCC would bat and give the wonderfully hirsute Beard first go on the pitch. Harry and John carried on from their undefeated stand from Thursday evening although with a fair degree of caution. The first one John middled unfortunately ended up in the Bowler’s hand with an anguished yelp much to the amusement of the rest of the oppo. Mark (Goulder) strode to the wicket and we strode to the record books. What happened next was carnage. Mark’s first 6 smashed a laptop and his third a car windscreen. Harry wasn’t to be overawed and calmly took full advantage of Wiz’s immaculate outfield to wristily flick 4 after 4. The partnership reached 50 passed 100 and 150 before Mark just fell short with 81. Harry was not to be denied and registered his first ever 100. (At which point all the St Radegund players shook his hand which I thought was pretty classy). Ferg chipped in with 30 of 14 deliveries before Harry’s brother Toby was not to be out done with a less wristy but still classy 50. Even Mini Mark got in on the act by smashing one in the air and well off the square…. 302 from 35 overs (has to be another record!) looked pretty imposing but it certainly didn’t prevent another first class tea being demolished by the men in white.
The tension was slowly ramping in SW19 (Murray was two sets up) and Grantchester (Jake was on a hat-trick, see Hemingford match report). Who would get there first? First it looked like Murray as 3 championship points caused a tea break extension. They were saved so it was Jake’s turn. Attacking field, loads of advice (Errr, bowl a straight one, was my contribution), Jake steamed in and…. the leg stump crashed to the ground followed by a roar that must have been heard in SW18 if not 19. (Another record, the longest hat-trick (3.5 days) at Spring Lane). The roar was reciprocated as Murray had won so we will all remember where we were when 77 years of hurt were ended and Jake took 3 in 3. The third Lawes, Oliver, equally unintimidated (timidated?) by brotherly achievement, took 3-16 from 7 overs with 3 drops, which qualifies him for an honorary 5’fer in my book. Sam chipped in with 2 wickets before a determined rearguard action from the visitors took them past 100. Finally, I reckoned it was well past beer o’clock so I turned back to Jake who was thwarted not by the batter but by umpire Ben channeling his inner Dickie Bird. Fittingly another Lawes (Toby) completed the 181 run victory for GCC which coincidently was the amount put on in Harry and Mark’s record partnership.
Back to HQ where I dare to say a record amount of beer was consumed as the rose drinkers were reined in. Even more enjoyable was the lack of post match speeches so I wasn’t required to admit we still hadn’t unearthed (apparently Bailey has buried it) the ‘Blue Ball’ trophy our two clubs have played for in the past. A great day and thanks to all especially the umpires, tea crew and our most sporting visitors. For me, however, retirement beckons…
Captain for a week
GCC – 302-3, Harry Lawes 102 retd., Mark Goulder 81, T Lawes 56no, Fergus 30
St Radegund: 121 all out, O. Crabbe 54no, Jake Jones 3-13 inc. finishing his hat trick, O Lawes 3-16, Sam 2-20
GCC won by 181 runs